On Saturday, Alberici Superintendent Jim McGuirk won ASA Midwest’s Superintendent of the Year Award. To honor this achievement, we asked Jim to reflect on his experience in the industry.
First of all, congratulations on winning ASA Midwest’s Superintendent of Year Award. What does this award mean to you?
This was a great surprise to me, and I appreciate whoever took the time to nominate me. Winning this award gives me confidence that I am treating everyone how I want to be treated.
How did you get started in construction?
In 1985, I started as a residential carpenter building houses. After 6 years, I switched to commercial building. I started with Alberici at the TWA dome as a carpenter, and I was running work as a foreman about two weeks later. From there, I moved into the role of general foreman, and then eventually became a superintendent. I’ve known that I wanted to run work since I got into the trade.
Can you tell us about your first job as a superintendent?
My first job as a superintendent was at Alberici’s former headquarters, 2150 Kienlen. Gabe Alberici was my boss, and I met with Gabe every morning at 5:00 a.m. At our daily meeting, we went through our three week and six week look ahead schedules. Gabe taught me to be prepared for anything and to make sure that you have all of the material you need, when you need it. 2150 turned out to be a great job, and I am lucky that I had the privilege to work with one of the best leaders in the construction industry.
What do you like most about your role as superintendent?
I like to run work, and I like to see a job from start to finish. Seeing a project through to completion gives me satisfaction and confidence.
You’ve been with Alberici for over 20 years, what’s our favorite project from your time with the company?
My favorite job by far was Alberici’s Headquarters, 8800 Page, which at the time, was the highest rated LEED platinum building. The management team gave me the freedom to do what was right for the job and environment. I take a lot of pride in my work, but that job is my crowning achievement.
What are you most proud of from your time with Alberici?
Being part of both of our corporate offices shows me that Alberici has the confidence in me, and that’s what I’m most proud of.
You’ve won this award from the ASA before, in 2003 – what lessons have you learned about being a great superintendent since that time?
I’ve learned to be more aware of our subcontractors and to make sure that they always have the latest information to do their jobs efficiently. It’s important to give them ample time to gather the right crews for the job. Also, I’ve learned to make sure that my direction is crystal clear when it comes to work schedule and timing with other trades. These lessons have been hard-learned over the years.
What advice would you give to an aspiring superintendent?
Be sure that you know the drawings, treat people how you want to be treated and be the calmest one in the room.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I have to give credit to my wife and family. I have four great kids Audrey (7), Jack and Tyler (11), and Grace (15). They all sacrifice a lot to make me as good as I can be.